U.K. drama series “Utopia” has earned the International Emmy Award for best drama series.
The Channel 4 fantasy drama is being remade by David Fincher and Gillian Flynn for HBO. Series created by British TV vet Dennis Kelly is a production of Shine Group’s Kudos banner. It had two seasons on Channel 4 but was not renewed for a third.
“Utopia” topped skeins from Japan (“Yae’s Sakura”), France (“The Tunnel”) and Chile (“Profugos”) for the win.
Stephen Dillane, star of Canal Plus’ “The Tunnel,” won for best actor. Bianca Krijgsman of the Netherlands’ “The New World,” a show about a single mother working in an airport immigration center, won best actress. Krijgsman dedicated her award to the show’s extras, all of whom were refugees.
Hosted by British comedian Matt Lucas, the International Emmys were held Monday at Hilton New York Hotel. Rupert Murdoch made a surprise appearance to help present the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Directorate Award to Roberto Marinho, prexy-CEO of Brazilian media giant Globo Organization.
Globo TV also claimed the win for telenovela for its hit “Precious Pearl.” Belgium’s sketch comedy “What If” prevailed for comedy series, topping Australia’s “Please Like Me,” South Africa’s “Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola” and Brazil’s “The Mayor’s Wife.”
“We are from a very small country and most of our viewers are up here right now,” quipped “What If” showrunner Tim Von Aelst as he and 13 others accepted the award.
The miniseries trophy went to Germany’s “Generation War,” a WWII drama that spurred debate in Germany and was criticized for being too sympathetic to the Nazis when it aired with subtitles on BBC2 earlier this year.
Sweden’s “No Burqas Behind Bars” won the documentary award, which was presented by “Orange Is the New Black” star Laverne Cox. The doc directed by Maryam Ebrahimi and Nima Sarvestani examined the harsh conditions for inmates at an Afghan women’s prison.
The U.K.’s “Educating Yorkshire” prevailed in the nonscripted entertainment category. The Channel 4 series follows the lives of teachers and students at a racially mixed secondary school in West Yorkshire. In accepting the award, producer-director David Brindley led the Hilton crowd in a chorus of “Happy Birthday” for exec producer David Clews.
In the newly created category of non-English U.S. programming, Telemundo’s hit telenovela “El Señor de los Cielos” took the inaugural trophy. The show is unusual for a telenovela in that it was renewed by the network for a second season, a departure from the self-contained format of most novelas.
Canada’s “The Exhibition” took the trophy for arts programming. The docu details artist Pamela Masik’s long battle to mount a large-scale exhibition feature paintings of women who were victims of one of the worst serial killers in the nation’s history.
“Mad Men” stars John Slattery and Christina Hendricks were on hand to present the org’s Founders Award to series creator Matthew Weiner. “Doesn’t he have enough Emmys,” joked Slattery.
Weiner emphasized the contributions made by the actors to the success of the show, which heads into the last half of its final season in the spring. “There is no award for this show that belongs to just me,” Weiner said. “The humanity that comes through comes from the actors who never stop feeling….The show is about humanity and that is why the show translated so well internationally. Humanity translates.”
(Pictured: “Generation War” winners celebrate backstage)
Here is a full list of International Emmy Award winners:
An artist faces public outrage as she struggles to mount a large-scale exhibition of paintings based on a police poster of missing women-26 of whom are found murdered on a serial killer’s farm
Best Performance by an Actor
Stephen Dillane as Karl Roebuck
When the body of a French politician is found on the border of the UK and France, Detective Karl Roebuck is sent to investigate on behalf of the British police. A warm family man, Karl could not be more different from his French counterpart, Elise Wasserman. As they are drawn into the case of the serial killer, Karl and Elise learn to respect each other’s differences and work together.
Best Performance by an Actress
Bianca Krijgsman as Mirte
De Nieuwe Wereld (The New World)
Mirte is the grumpiest cleaner in the airport immigration center, a single mother who cannot take care of her son, just managing to keep a grip on her life. This is until Luke arrives, a West African refugee, not put off by her aggression. During the 10 days of his asylum procedure, their encounters lead to an unexpected relationship.
What If? 2
Shelter / TV Bastards
What If? is a comedy sketch show. Every sketch begins with the question what if? What if Jesus was a stand-up comedian? What if all the cops were gay? What If? transports viewers into a completely new and different world!
Frihet bakom galler (No Burqas Behind Bars)
Nima Film / SVT / NHK / DR / NRK / IKON / The Swedish Film Institute / The Swedish Arts Grants Committee / Nordisk Film & TV Fond / APSA Academy Film Fund
Meet Sara, Nadjibeh, Sima, and their fellow inmates in a close portrait of life behind bars in an Afghan women’s prison. Most of the women are convicted of running away from their husbands. But the question arises: where are they most free, in prison or in the outside society?
Kudos Film & TV / Channel 4
What if the conspiracy nuts are right? What if there really are people trying to control our lives?
Non-English Language US Primetime Program
El Señor de los Cielos (The Lord of the Skies)
Telemundo Studios / Caracol TV
United States of America
Follow Aurelio Casillas’ journey in becoming the leading, and only, drug dealer in Mexico in the ’90s, taking Pablo Escobar’s place in the region. Police officer Marco Mejia is in his way. After Casillas’ picture is published, ‘The Lord of the Skies’ must disappear without a trace.
Educating Yorkshire is located at the heart of a diverse northern community, offering the audience a fascinating insight into modern school life in the U.K.
Franz is the son of a millionaire factory owner. In the Himalayas, he has an accident and meets Ananda, a spiritual leader. When he is back, he falls for Amelia, a factory worker. Together they have a baby girl, who happens to “come” from afar with a mission.
Unsere Mütter, Unsere Väter (Generation War)
teamWorx Television & Film / ZDF / Beta Film / ZDF Enterprises
Five adolescents, whose friendship was supposed to last a lifetime, are forced to realize that war changes everything.